The Canwest News Service reported a recent find of a rare gold coin in Newfoundland. -EditorCall it the 17th century equivalent of losing your bank card - and then picture the owner losing his mind trying to find it. Sometime around 1627, the owner of a very valuable gold coin lost it at an early British colony on Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula.
Archeologist Jim Tuck, who dug the rarity out of the stone footing of a house this week at the Colony of Avalon, says how it got there is anybody's guess, but the erstwhile owner - maybe the man who founded it in 1621, Lord Baltimore, himself - didn't let it go very easily.
"It's a very valuable piece of stuff. I'm amazed at the kinds of things people will lose. I believe whoever lost it spent a long time trying to get it back," he said with a laugh.
The loonie-sized Scottish coin is 22-karat gold and weighs about five grams, worth about $143 Cdn today. When originally issued, it was worth six British pounds (or 120 shillings), which represented a lot of money for its owner.
The "Sword and Sceptre" coin dated 1601 was issued during the reign of King James VI of Scotland two years before he ascended the throne of England as King James I.
It features the crowned arms of Scotland (rampant lion) on the obverse surrounded by the Latin inscription, "James VI, by the Grace of God, King of Scots."
The reverse features a crossed sword and sceptre, flanked by two thistles - all below a crown. The reverse Latin legend reads, "The safety of the people is the supreme law."
The coin is being examined and cleaned at the Colony of Avalon Conservation Laboratory.
Baltimore's colony left substantial remains... Baltimore, born George Calvert, eventually gave up the Newfoundland colony, after complaining about French raids and winters that lasted from October to May. He was granted land in Maryland in the United States where the city of Baltimore is named after the family.
To read the complete article, see: 17th century rare gold coin recovered in N.L. (http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=1fb50d45-14ce-479e-81a1-20d2af204432)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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